Although my bar managing days are behind me, I’m lucky enough to be able to apply what I learned from high volume bar management to my everyday routine, here on the Business Development team at BevSpot.
I worked at one of Southie’s coolest restaurants, Lincoln Tavern. Lincoln has two large bars, and the restaurant itself has a 300 person capacity, not to mention, it’s extremely popular. When you work for a popular restaurant, you need to do everything in your power to keep the crowd happy. From the bar manager’s perspective, this means keeping a ton of product on hand to offer patrons a variety of beverage options.
Overseeing ordering and inventory for a bar this size is extremely daunting and time consuming. And to top it off, the inventory management system in place at Lincoln at the time was an absolute nightmare. To this day, I think about the countless hours my predecessor must have spent dealing with this system. I was lucky enough to not have to put up with it for very long.
When I was first introduced to BevSpot, I have to be honest and admit that my expectations were low. I figured anything was better than what we had, and doing inventory until 4am Monday mornings (or the alternative, coming in on my day off,) was really starting to take a toll on my work-life balance. Three of us were involved in taking inventory at that time, we spent roughly 10–12 hours a week getting the process done. So really, any change at all was to be welcomed. What I didn’t expect was for everything to get much, much easier.
Anyone in the sales industry will talk about the beauty of things just aligning for the right client—timing, customer need, and talking to the right person. As soon as I saw the BevSpot platform, it was a closed deal. And within 2 weeks, that 10 hour inventory was cut by more than half—not only was I spending just 3.5–4 hours per week on inventory, but my orders became much more efficient, decreasing in totals by 10%, with sitting inventory down by 12%. The new system was literally putting money back in the owners’ pockets, and let me tell you first hand—they were extremely pleased.
Ordering was completely streamlined. I didn’t even have to make the 15 calls to all my different sales reps. Suddenly, I had a lot more time on my hands to put back into other important aspects of managing a restaurant.
I was so passionate about what BevSpot did for me, and having many friends in the industry, I just wanted to spread the word and help as many people as possible. I knew how they felt and trust me, I’ve never spoken to a single person who enjoys sitting in a liquor room with pen and paper and Excel spreadsheets for hours on end. And so I left bar managing behind me when the opportunity to work for BevSpot presented itself.
And now I join the mission to rescue others from 4am inventories. I was once in their shoes (and sometimes still have nightmares about it). But I’ve also seen from the inside how much better it can be. Take it from me, inventory and ordering does not need to take all night. It can only get better from here.